Hobbs' 12 week challenge

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esqinchi
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Re: Hobbs' 12 week challenge

#16 Postby esqinchi » Tue Apr 12, 2016 9:28 pm

Nice work dude. Questions re: waking up in the middle of the night. Do you stretch legs ever? I sometimes wake up because my legs are tight from not stretching enough. Feels like I've been standing too long or something similar.

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Re: Hobbs' 12 week challenge

#17 Postby Hobbs » Wed Apr 13, 2016 12:22 pm

Week 3 / Session 2

CHEST/BACK

Tough one, used heavier +2kg dumbbells for chest press and incline row, real progress there.
Also the form on chest press is improving, joining my shoulder blades when going down and keeping my back on the bench.
Great for abs!

Was totally spent though for the final plank and my left toe does like pressure, so had to take it down a bit.

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Re: Hobbs' 12 week challenge

#18 Postby Hobbs » Wed Apr 13, 2016 12:31 pm

esqinchi wrote:Nice work dude. Questions re: waking up in the middle of the night. Do you stretch legs ever? I sometimes wake up because my legs are tight from not stretching enough. Feels like I've been standing too long or something similar.


Yeah I strech and foam roal legs after cardio, so that's twice a week these days. I'm not very flexible but no problem there I guess.
Drinking less in the afternoon/evening and eating more in the evening as helped a bit this week.

What helped the most was cardio or gym after work, I was spent and slept better but I really prefer training early/very early before work now.

Still might try a walk in the evening and see how it goes, plus weather in the UK is finally getting almost acceptable, so it's the right time! :)

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Re: Hobbs' 12 week challenge

#19 Postby Hobbs » Fri Apr 15, 2016 12:48 pm

Week 3 / Session 3

ARMS

Shorter session, pretty much the same as the previous arm one this week.

Did ok and avoided my previous mistake to lift too heay and focus on proper form and tempo instead.
Still I think my lifting form is far from perfect on the bench press, I'll take a step back, use lower weight and make sure to get it spot on before going up again.
Left shoulder is a fairly painful too, but will be fine with a few day's rest.

Image


Yesterday: cardio
Ran for about 1 hour in the woods. Feeling great, no knee pain whatsoever 8)
Swimming for 1/2 hour in the evening, but it was a bit shit, very crowded pool, kids running around and screaming. Hard to get any serious work done.

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Re: Hobbs' 12 week challenge

#20 Postby Hobbs » Sat Apr 16, 2016 5:12 am

Week 3 / Session 4

LEGS


Good session, managed +10kg on the leg press and really struggled to complete the last 2 sets, as only managed 7 reps.
Swapped standing calf raise with legs extension to give my toe a rest. Will have x-ray soon to find out what#s wrong with it.

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Re: Hobbs' 12 week challenge

#21 Postby Hobbs » Sun Apr 17, 2016 5:17 am

Week 3 - ASSESSMENT

OK third week, all workouts completed and followed nutrition plan just fine.

Managed to lift more on the whole and I feel stronger. Form is not always perfect though and needs improving.

Not much change visually, and according to stats, I've lost a bit of weight and muscle - while not dropping body fat.
That was not the plan :roll:

It's odd as I could swear my legs are bigger and my boxers feel tighter. Same for back, pecs and arms.

Anyway, course of action:
- calories up, +250/day on average.
- drop 1 swimming session, and keep the remaining one under 40mn.
- will take running down to 30-45/min twice week, when half marathon is done.

I'm aware I'm chasing 3 different goals at the same, each pulling in it's own direction: lift more/better, swim better, get back in running and do a half marathon.
Thing is, I love all of them in a different way.

Still for the time being, I'll give priority to lifting with all it means it terms of rest and nutrition.


Stats


Weight 65.4kg (-0.3kg)
Body fat % 7.9 (no change)
Hydration % 61 (-0.7 %)
Muscle weight 57.2 kg (-0.6kg)

Photo

Image


Nutrition
Need more calories as the idea is to gain strength, so at the very least keep muscle mass muscle the same, or even better, take it up, and lose some fat in the process too.

So it's calories up a bit (+250/day in average), focusing on cardio and rest days as I already feel 'stuffed' sometimes on a high carb days.
Keeping prot and fat about the same, while increasing carbs as follows:

High carb day, on training days, 4 days/week : 3,000 kcal (+200)
prot 25% 190g / 760 kcal
fat 25% 80g / 720 kcal
Carb 50% 400g / 1600kcal (+50g)

Medium carb day, on cardio days, 2 days/week: 2,500 kcal (+300)
prot 30% 170g / 680 kcal
fat 30% 80g / 720 kcal
Carb 40% 270g / 1080kcal (*120g)

Low carb day, on rest day, 1 day/week 2,100 kcal (+300)
prot 30% 170g / 680 kcal
fat 40% 90g / 810 kcal
Carb 30% 150g / 600kcal (+100g)


Hydration:
Ok. Replaced the 2 extra pints of water with equivalent in decaff green tea, as water alone felt a bit flat.

Sleep:
Slightly better, it's becoming acceptable. I stopped looking and feeling tired.

Caffeine addiction:
Under control :)

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Re: Hobbs' 12 week challenge

#22 Postby Hobbs » Mon Apr 18, 2016 12:35 pm

Week 4 / Session 1

BACK


Starting a new 3-week cycle, with 2 sessions/week focusing on back, and 2 sessions to cover the rest.

For more details on the plan, see Mick Mitchell's book:
http://www.amazon.co.uk/Your-Ultimate-Body-Transformation-Plan/dp/0008147914/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1460999946&sr=1-1&keywords=nick+mitchell

So today was first back session.
A bit or a marathon (1h30) as I usually keep my sessions between 50min and 1h.
Demanding, but completed it ok, so pretty happy with it :)
A couple exercises I had never tried before, like the reverse incline one-arm arc row, and deadlifts which I had not done for a months, so form wasn't perfect.

My left shoulder is still not great but manageable. I lifted less than usual on bench press to give it a bit of rest. I'll see how it goes the rest of the week, but might swap some exercises so as not to stress it.

Image


Picture from yesterday's run

Image

Greater Manchester area, and Peak District in the back. Manchester is on the left somewhere.
I love running in the wood, it's peaceful and a lot more fun than roads! Also way easier on the knees.

Huge kudos to the old lady who I say cleaning her dog's mess, in the middle of the wood.
You wouldn't dream of seeing that in France!

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Re: Hobbs' 12 week challenge

#23 Postby Hobbs » Wed Apr 20, 2016 12:39 pm

Week 4 / Session 2

LEGS


It had been a while since I had not done any squat as my left knee was not happy with those.

Had never tried front squat at all, so gave it a go with or without a rack. The former feels safer, so might stick to it for the time being.

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Re: Hobbs' 12 week challenge

#24 Postby Hobbs » Fri Apr 22, 2016 12:30 pm

Week 4 / Session 3

BACK

Not the greatest session, felt tired and not really into it.
Kept the weight the same for deadlift, form is coming back and my back is more happy.
Still managed to lift a bit more on the lying sideways dumbbell pullover and the incline reverse 1 arm arc row.

Image

Yesterday: did 1 hour cardio, with 15mn each on bike/stairs/cross-trainer/rowing, and doing some Tabata and other random intervals.
Went well, I've got more energy with the extra calories. Feels odd to eat that much though, or eat when you're not actually hungry.
First world problem at best I guess :)

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Re: Hobbs' 12 week challenge

#25 Postby Hobbs » Sat Apr 23, 2016 6:32 am

Week 4 / Session 4

ARMS / DELT


Good session, slept a lot better and felt much more rested and focused as a result.

The close-grip curls are great to target the biceps.

Tried the dipping belt I bought earlier on.
So far I was just holding a dumbbell between my legs when doing weighted dips and pull-ups and that was ok.
The belt is great if you need to add more than 10kg, plus you can focus properly on the exercises instead of keeping your legs tight enough so the dummbell does not fall.

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Re: Hobbs' 12 week challenge

#26 Postby Hobbs » Sun Apr 24, 2016 7:04 am

Week 4 - ASSESSMENT

Just watched the finish or London Marathon. Fast monsters :twisted:
Had a nice 2 hour run in the countryside. English countryside can be the prettiest thing - provided there's a tiny bit of sun.
Had a huge awwwww moment, when I ran past a field with a herd of about 40 cute lambs and their moms. And as always when there's a great picture to be taken, I had left my phone home.
Knee is fine, feels good to be back in a half-decent running shape.

Anyway, good 4th week and figures are great: more muscle, less fat!
You have to be cautious with those, but at least it goes in the right direction.

Not much change visually, maybe I shouldn't really bother taking a picture every week.
Will keep on going for those 12 weeks for the record.

Stats

Weight 66.8kg (+1.2kg)
Body fat % 7.7 (-0.2%)
Hydration % 61.5 (+0.5%)
Muscle weight 58.5 kg (+1.3kg)

Photo

Image

Nutrition
No change as these macros are working for now.
Low carb day is probably not optimal for sustaining growth, but right now it's a 'rest' day where I don't need to eat as much as the others. I'm not big on eating more, although the things I listed below do work.

High carb day, on training days, 4 days/week : 3,000 kcal
prot 25% 190g / 760 kcal
fat 25% 80g / 720 kcal
Carb 50% 400g / 1600kcal

Medium carb day, on cardio days, 2 days/week: 2,500 kcal
prot 30% 170g / 680 kcal
fat 30% 80g / 720 kcal
Carb 40% 270g / 1080kcal

Low carb day, on rest day, 1 day/week 2,100 kcal
prot 30% 170g / 680 kcal
fat 40% 90g / 810 kcal
Carb 30% 150g / 600kcal


Here's what I found to help get more calories in:
- smaller meals (up to 7-8) every 2-3 hours.
- drinking carbs: oats go down easy in shakes or smoothies.
- smaller portion of veggies. While veggies are awesome, they are very low calories and can be bulky. Alternatively, they work great in smoothies.
- increasing fats: olive oil and nuts are concentrated sources or calories.
- using bigger plates : portions look smaller :D

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Re: Hobbs' 12 week challenge

#27 Postby Hobbs » Mon Apr 25, 2016 2:10 pm

Week 5 / Session 1

BACK


Hell of a long workout, managed to lift heavier on everything, except the pull-ups where I used only bodyweight to give form the priority.
Pretty happy with it!

My left wrist lacks strenght and gives up early when I could sneak another 1-2 extra reps.

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What healthy bastards eat :wink:
Scrambled tofu with avocado, and a spinach smoothie with soy milk - tasty!

Image

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Re: Hobbs' 12 week challenge

#28 Postby Hobbs » Wed Apr 27, 2016 12:45 pm

Week 5 / Session 2

LEGS


Good work out, interesting to see that resting times for legs exercises are now half what they were in the first 3-week cycle.

Still keeping weights low on front squat to get the form right first.
Toe feels better, so got calf raises back, with low weight.
Left ankle is mildly happy though.

Exercises in italic were added by me, following the same form and tempo principles that apply to the regular exercises.

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Re: Hobbs' 12 week challenge

#29 Postby Hobbs » Fri Apr 29, 2016 12:17 pm

Week 5 / Session 3

ARMS + DELTS


Wasn't really focused, I think I pushed cardio too much yesterday and felt a bit tired.
It's easy to lose track of the number of reps and sets, while keeping resting times and lifting tempo in check.
Everything has to be written down or I get lost soon! :)

The program for this week only includes 3 workouts instead of the usual 4, wonder whether I should stick to it and rest, or have an easy mix session tomorrow?
If I'm fine and in the mood I'll give it a quick go I think.

Exercises in italic were added by me, following the same form and tempo principles that apply to the regular exercises.

Image

Yesterday cardio: 45min

HIIT Bike: 30mn.

I usually improvise some HIIT on the bike or the cross-training machine.
So yesterday was for instance:

5min warm up
20secs max effort / 10 secs rest x 8
2 min rest
20secs max effort / 40 secs rest x 4
2 min rest
20secs max effort / 1.20 min rest x 4
Remaining time: cool down.

Stair climber: 15 mn easy

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Re: Hobbs' 12 week challenge

#30 Postby Hobbs » Mon May 02, 2016 2:13 pm

Been away for the bank holiday week-end, but didn't stay idle!


Saturday:

Week 5 / Session 4

BACK

As that session was an extra and not part of the program, I simply picked back 6 exercises I like, and kept the effort in the medium range.
Good news is that I managed 13 extra pull-ups at the very end, while I used to be able to do only 5-6 when tired.

Hadn't seen my girlfriend for nearly a month, and she noticed my legs have got quite bigger :)


Sunday:

Ran the Chatsworth 10k with my girlfriend, a hilly race in a the park of a castle near Sheffield.
Didn't rain for once, which was nice!
Time is not much to speak of, we finished amongst the last ones ahah.

Found a health food shop in Bakewell, a small touristic village nearby. Was cheaper than supermarkets and waaay cheaper than those mean b*stards from Holland And Barett, so filled the cupboards up.

Image


Monday:

Back home and rest.
Think I caught a cold yesterday, feeling quite tired with an aching throat.
Will do week 5 assessment tomorrow.


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